It was a bad time to have the odds go against the Piper women's BB team. Hamline chased playoff-bound St. Mary's all over the Hutton Arena court all Wednesday night. They forced 17 turnovers and sent the league's 11th-rated team in Free Throw Percentage to the line 22 times. But the Cardinals, who entered the game with a .665, hit 21 of their freebies and that was enough to deal Hamline a 60-56 defeat Wednesday.
Steph Pilgrim led Hamline with 16 points while Rachel Usgaard (who tied her season high) and Jordan Sammons added 10 each. Je'Naya Brown added seven steals and six assists but it couldn't offset the Cardinals' edge in Free Throws and a 46-31 Rebounding advantage.
Hamline started briskly, jumping to a 19-8 first half advantage. SMU, however, came back to cut the margin to 28-26 at intermission. The Cardinals started the second half hot and quickly mounted a 11-point lead with 12:22 left. HU, however, had gas in the tank and began to chip away. A Sammons three-point play knotted the game at 54 with two minutes to play.. But SMU hit six Free Throws in the last two minutes to gain the victory.
Hamline is now 7-17 overall, 6-15 in the MIAC. They close out the season Saturday at Macalester. Game time is 1:00 p.m.